What's "New Evangelization"

In the Diocese of Salina, the Office of New Evangelization facilitates the ministry of “re-proposing the Gospel’s message of hope to those in a crisis of faith caused my secularization.”[1]

“Secularization” is sometimes more popularly known as “the ways of the world” or as the aspects of our modern American “culture” that are contrary to the life of faith and discipleship.  Secularization has a way of robbing us of our hope, assaulting our assurance that, with God’s grace, we will see our way through what seems at the time such a daunting challenge.[2]

The message of hope is in the invitation to Catholics to renew their own relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and his Church.  It is also a call to each person to share his or her faith with others.  This renewal always involves a conversion, a change, a transformation away from sin that leads to a new depth of faithfulness and discipleship.  It leads to a deepened sense of hope.

“Conversion” is not to be understood in terms of a change of affiliation from one religious tradition to another or as of going through a series of instructions that brings one to “become Catholic.”  Instead, conversion is a process by which a deepened relationship with Christ empowers a person to experience life-shaping changes of mind and heart.[3]

As a first step in better understanding the New Evangelization, it is helpful to have practical examples of how a person is in need of conversion.  In an effort to “put a face” on the ways that people concretely encounter the lure of secularization, the Diocese of Salina has constructed an outline of “The Five Wounds of Secularization.”  The “Five Wounds” relate to five different messages transmitted by “the world” that assault the life of faith and the hope offered by the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.  These Five Wounds are:

1.       Busyness

2.       Consumerism/Materialism

3.       Violence/Revenge

4.       Individualism/Relativism

5.       Entitlement


Link to document  pdf “ Five Wounds of Secularization.” - in simple text (35 KB)

Link to document  document "Five Wounds of Secularization" - booklet (28 KB)

[1]c.f. “What is the New Evangelization?” by Pope Benedict XVI on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/index.cfm.

[2] c.f. United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p. 333.

[3] United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p. 451.

The Year of Grace, 2015: Evangelization in and through the Family

The year 2015 has many reminders of the place of the family in the life of the Church.  Looking forward to 2015, the Extraordinary Synod in Rome (in October, 2014) discussed “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization.”  That Synod opened a year of discussion and prayer leading to another gathering of bishops in October, 2015, with the theme "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world."  In the meantime, Pope Francis will be attending the World Meeting of Families, taking place in Philadelphia in late September, 2015.

For all the human experiences that provide a legitimate framework for Evangelization, 2015 seems especially rich with references to family life.  Therefore, the Office of New Evangelization in the Diocese of Salina is focusing on how the Gospel’s message of hope is experienced in and through the family.

Each month during 2015, the Office of New Evangelization is providing parishes a few suggested activities related to Evangelization in and through the family.  These suggestions may be especially helpful to parish Evangelization Commissions and/or Family Life Commissions. These activities are only suggestions.  They are designed to provide food for thought and prayer among parishioners about the family as a locus of God’s revelation of life-changing love through Jesus Christ.  These activities are also designed to (hopefully) spark some faith-based conversation beyond the parish in informal gatherings of friends and family.  Perhaps the conversation might begin with, “We’re doing this at St. XYZ parish and it is making me think about ….”   Or the conversation may come from another direction, “What’s that I saw (or heard about) that you Catholics are doing with (the activity) at St. XYZ parish?”

Not every activity will “fit” every parish.  Despite the way that suggested activities are offered during a particular month, there may be other months during the year that will work for their implementation.  It may take a few (or several) months to organize and implement an activity.  The parish will necessarily have to pick and choose from among the suggested activities to determine which ones are likely to be most effective in that parish (or group of parishes.)

Feel free to contact the Salina Diocese Office of New Evangelization for more information!

Link to monthly parish activity suggestions:

pdf January 2015 (69 KB)

pdf February 2015 (47 KB)

pdf March 2015 (92 KB)

pdf April 2015 (100 KB)

pdf May 2015 (46 KB)

pdf June 2015 (521 KB)

document July 2015 Article A (12 KB)

pdf July 2015 Article B (25 KB)

document August 2015 (14 KB)

document September 2015 - World Meeting of Families (16 KB)

"Where can I find an opening prayer for tonight's meeting?"

Parish council, school council, parish committee meetings often begin with a prayer, often lead by one of the parishioner members of the council or committee.  Even with the internet and other resources, it can be a bit of a challenge to find a suitable prayer format that is both user-friendly but more than simple rote recitation of a familiar prayer.

If you’re interested in a simple prayer format that incorporates some brief small-group faith-sharing, the Office of New Evangelization offers this idea:

The theme for the 2014-15 Catechetical Year is “Teaching about God’s Gift of Forgiveness.”  The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston developed nine, easy-to-use outlines for brief faith-sharing at meetings related to this theme of God’s forgiveness.  Easily accomplished in 5-10 minutes at the beginning of a meeting, each topic begins with a brief teaching, and then offers a question related to the topic.  The responses to the question(s) can be shared “on the spot” without any preparation, but is best served when distributed to meeting participants in advance to allow some reflection time.  After the faith-sharing of brief reflections, that section of the meeting time could conclude with a simple common prayer, such as The Glory Be.

Link to pdf Faith-Sharing at meetings (50 KB)


Small Group Faith-Sharing Hints

The following are items to consider when conducting a "Faith-Sharing" group.

  • The environment should be conducive to faith-sharing.  Each week set up a prayer table with the necessary items for the closing rituals.  Arrange seating to allow for everyone to see and hear.  Adequate lighting is essential.
  • In order to keep with the allotted time, it may be helpful to assign a timekeeper.
    • Set a definite beginning time and an ending time.  (The hosting person has a life, too!)
    • The group may wish to consider rotating host sites.
  • Ask for volunteers to read aloud each of the Scripture readings.
    • Have a missalette or Bible at hand for the Scripture readings.
    • The Psalm may be read as at Mass (with multiple repeatings of the antiphon, straight through (without the antiphon), or with the antiphon spoken only at the beginning and end of the Psalm.
  • Make sure that no one dominates the sharing time.
    • A timekeeper can be authorized by the group to discourage one person monopolizing the sharing.  You may wish to decide in advance and as a group the maximum amount of  time that can reasonably be allotted for each person’s sharing, in order to allow time for each person to share (if they choose to do so.)
    • Use the faith-sharing questions to keep the sharing on track.  If someone drifts off onto a tangent (such as a “life philosopher” or a “spokesperson for world issues”), ask the question again or ask, “Now, how were you connecting that to the original question?”  Or, “Could you summarize that into a sentence or two?”
    • Be as concrete as possible in your responses to the faith-sharing questions.  Avoid “I always …,” “I never …,” “My folks always taught me to ….”  Encourage specifics by asking “Has there ever been a time when you …?” or “Could you give us a (small) example of that?”
    • The faith-sharing time is not a time for group therapy or group problem solving.  It is also not a time to focus on personal problems unrelated to the faith sharing questions.  Rather than respond to another’s sharing, simply silently reflect on it and then share for yourself.  Encourage the use of “I” statements and not “We,” “You,” “Our,” etc.
    • Share your own personal experiences as they related to your faith relationship with God and the gospel.  This material is not intended as a Bible study or theological debate.  The Commentary gives one interpretation; there may validly be others.  Trust this material and avoid correcting the authors or debating the questions.
    • Usually each person responds only once to each question so that others have an opportunity to share.
    • Do not interrupt or cross talk (person A is speaking, and person B starts speaking to person C) while sharing is taking place.
    • Silence is a vital part of faith-sharing.  Be comfortable with it.


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Ways to Keep the Lord's Day Holy

Ways to Keep the Lord’s Day Holy
by Loving God, Family, & Neighbor

These are some suggested ideas from which you can choose
Last updated 4/7/11

Before Sunday & In Preparation for Sunday

  • Houseclean, straighten up, refuel the car, and prepare clothing, do laundry, shop, etc.
  • Buy or cut fresh flowers on Saturday to adorn the house through the week
  • Prepare Sunday meals in advance to the extent possible.
  • Avoid going to bed too late Saturday evening so as to be tired on Sunday.

Things You Can Do:

  • Engage in activities that contribute to greater spirituality.
  • Attend Mass; especially as a family. Dress up.  Get there are few minutes early and stay a few minutes after to share personal time with God.
  • Dedicate an hour on Sunday, outside of Mass, to prayer.
  • Spends some time before the Blessed Sacrament.
  • Pray the Rosary (as a family).
  • Devote time to the Scriptures.
  • Pope Benedict XVI suggests reading “Story of a Soul”, the autobiography of St. Theresa of Lisieux. He suggests we re-discover this “little-great treasure”, calling it a a luminous commentary on the Gospel fully lived”.  Maybe read a chapter each Sunday.
  • Offer expressions of praise and thanksgiving to God.
  • Make Sunday a special day for the family, something to which your children will look forward to. Create some Sunday traditions the kids will remember when they get older and have their own children.
  • Share a special Sunday meal. Dress the table nicely. Pray before and after eating.
  • Wash the dishes together.
  • Have a cookout.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Read a wholesome book.
  • Have a Cream Tea and dessert on Sunday afternoons. Invite other Catholics over and socialize a bit.
  • Do things you find relaxing, for the sake of relaxing… like gardening, mowing, etc.
  • Spend time with family & friends
  • Get a good night’s rest and rest, physically, during the day.
  • Hang around with family members sharing in conversation.
  • Converse via phone with distant family members and friends
  • Visit the sick and aged shut-ins.
  • Take a walk in the park
  • Care for the Earth…maybe pick up litter as a family or some other creative ideas.
  • Write thank you notes
  • Play cards or board games together, especially those that invite conversation.
  • Take a leisurely Sunday drive, enjoy the landscape.
  • Sing together
  • Engage in crafts together.
  • If you have a fireplace, build a fire and read.


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99+ Effective Ways to Evangelize as a Catholic

99+ Simple and Effective Ways to Evangelize as a Catholic

Office of the New Evangelization – Diocese of Salina

Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become.  Believe what
you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.

1)      Be proud (in the good sense) of being a Catholic. Live your life with holy boldness.

2)      Focus on what is truly important. Relationships are what’s important. Christian values are important.

3)      Set time apart daily for God. Don’t be afraid to tell others you do that.

4)      Smile a lot.  It makes you happy. It also makes others happy.  It’s a great witness to your Christian joy.  Smiling is a one word Christian philosophy on living.    

5)      Make Mass a habit; try to work daily Mass into your life as frequently as you can.

6)      Say “Thank you” as often as you can.  Expressing gratitude makes you more appreciative of what you have. Gratitude is a beautiful virtue.   It helps make you, and those you thank, happy!  

7)      Choose to be a disciple of Jesus Christ; not simply a volunteer: pray, fast, give alms.  Do works of service.  Gently share your faith and explain how it brings you happiness.  

8)      Try always to do things in love.  Let the love you choose be “agape love”… that is, love for the sake of the other.

9)      Keep Sunday’s holy.  Try not to spend money or engage in competitive organized sports on the Sabbath.  Try not to do things that require others to work on Sunday.  

10)  Forgive others, sincerely.  

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Pope's Closing Homily at Synod for the New Evangelization (As synthesized by Deacon Mark)

Synthesis of the New Evangelization
The Church "Is Called to Something New"

The New Evangelization is symbolized in the Samaritan woman at the well (cf. John 4:5-42).

At some point in our life we all find ourselves like the woman of Samaria beside a well with an empty bucket, with the hope of finding the fulfillment of the heart's most profound desire, that which alone could give full meaning to existence.  Today, many wells offer themselves to quench humanity's thirst, but we must discern in order to avoid polluted waters.  This poison water can seriously harm our souls.

Like Jesus at the well of Sychar, the Church also feels obliged to sit beside today's men and women. She wants to render the Lord present in their lives so that they could encounter him because he alone is the water that gives true and eternal life. Only Jesus can read the depths of our heart and reveal the truth about ourselves: “He told me everything I have done”, the woman confesses to her fellow citizens. This word of proclamation is united to the question that opens up to faith: “Could he possibly be the Messiah?” It shows that whoever receives new life from encountering Jesus cannot but proclaim truth and hope to others. The sinner who was converted becomes a messenger of salvation and leads the whole city to Jesus. The people pass from welcoming her testimony to personally experiencing the encounter: “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world”.

(Click on "Read More" then scroll down)

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Some Ideas for Keeping Advent & Christmas Holy

  • “Christmas” comes from the term “Christ-Mass”. Make Christ the center of your Christmas.
  • Commit to special prayers and religious activities for Advent. Maybe daily Mass, periodic adoration, the Rosary, reading portions of the Gospels each day.
  • Put up a tree, crèche, and decorations.  Consider a Christmas Crib.  Set your tree up later in the Advent Season and keep it through the 12 days of Christmas.  Traditionally, the Christmas tree was set up on Christmas Eve.
  • Pray a blessing over your Christmas tree, your family, and your home. Maybe modify the following blessing: “Holy Lord, we come with joy to celebrate the birth of your Son, who rescued us from the darkness of sin by making the cross a tree of life and light. May this tree, arrayed in splendor, remind us of the life-giving cross of Christ that we may always rejoice in the new life that shines in our hearts.  In a special way, we ask you to bless this family and this home throughout the year. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”  Then, sprinkle Holy Water.
  • Visit others during the Advent and Christmas seasons….relatives , friends, seniors, and the sick.  Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends.
  • Remember the Feast of St. Nicholas, December 6th.  Maybe small gifts for the little children.
  • Greet others with “Merry Christmas!” Unfortunately,  Season’s greeting and Happy Holidays, as nice as they are, have become an agenda for some.
  • Holly, Christmas Rose, and Poinsettias are a nice tradition.
  • If you send Christmas cards, make it a joy, not a burden. Pray for each person or family to whom you send a card. Christmas cards are appropriate through Epiphany.  Don’t be afraid to send them after Christmas explaining why, in the Catholic tradition, we do so.
  • Turn on the holiday tunes. Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit faster than music.
  • Slow down, cut out the busyness.
  • Reduce the number and cost of the gifts you buy.
  • Consider having a Mass said for someone as a gift.  Then send a Mass card to inform them of that blessing.
  • Make some hot chocolate or eggnog.
  • Watch some Christmas movies. They kindle old memories.
  • Read some Christmas classics with the kids and grandkids.
  • Drive around town and look at the Christmas lights
  • Share time with loved ones
  • Go see A Christmas Carol as a play.
  • Do works of service for others
  • Donate to a food pro-life organization or food kitchen.
  • Put a K of C “Keep Christ in Christmas” magnet on your car or sticker on your door.
  • Go to Midnight Mass
  • Christmas dinner should be a feast, to the extent that you can.  Invite others.
  • Remember Christmas starts on Christmas Day, celebrate the 11 remaining days. Christmas closes on Epiphany.

Articles Presented Below:

  • Some Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy
  • 5 Reasons to Attend Daily Mass
  • Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Faith
  • Tips for Making a Good Confession
  • 99 + Effective Ways to Evangelize as a Catholic
  • Ways to Keep the Lord’s Day Holy

5 Reasons To Attend Daily Mass

5 Reasons Why We Should Try to Go To Daily Mass

I’ve been going to daily Mass for the greater part of twenty years.  In the days and weeks after September 11, my soul was touched by the number of people who also began attending.  I thought I understood God’s purpose in allowing that evil day to happen.  It seemed the churches were half-full, at daily Masses. I wondered why they we not completely full.   Then, as things seem to brighten and become more stable, the churches gradually emptied again.  I guess we really didn’t understand… God’s love and protection are the only real stability we will ever know in life.

So, below are five reasons I go to daily Mass.  I believe they are five of the same reasons you, also, might consider.

1. Receiving Christ in the Blessed Eucharist gives us the strength to fight selfish pride and sin.

Pride and ego are two of the many demons most of us must battle constantly.  We desire pleasure, things, convenience, notice, etc.  It’s a constant struggle to weaken these impulses… especially when they impact our other priorities and relationships.  We cannot win the struggle alone.  We were not created perfect. We were born frail and defective so that we might acknowledge that any good which happens in us or through us is from God.

It takes supernatural strength to combat ego; and we can get that strength from our Lord present in the Eucharist. The sanctifying grace that pours through us when we receive the consecrated host allows us to stop before uttering a word of anger, or engaging in a selfish sin.  Simply put, the Eucharist strengthens us for the daily journey.

2. Praising God first thing in the morning is the most important thing on our daily calendar.

“First things first”, as they say. And since we’ve been blessed to be a member of this one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, we should understand that it’s a privilege and a gift that we can make God the first and most important person in our day by worshipping Him in His temple.  Plus, God asks for the first fruits of our harvest, the first tenth of all our blessings. Going to Mass is offering the first part of our day to the Lord who is the source of all our blessings. It’s the best form of Catholic stewardship.

3. The Mass is my ongoing spiritual formation.

One beautiful thing about the Mass is that it is so drenched in scripture.  Attending Mass daily allows us to soak in God’s Word. Reading and reflecting on the daily scriptures the evening before makes the Mass seem even richer and more fulfilling.  The Mass helps us get a full Catholic education in Christ -- stewardship, the sacraments, the saints, and evangelization -- 260 days a year.  It helps us grown in the Lord a day at a time.

4. The Mass heals.

Every Mass is a healing experience. It heals wounds caused by our sinful nature, it heals our relationship with God and with one another, bringing us closer to our Lord, giving us opportunities to draw near and receive Him not only in the Word, but also in the Blessed Sacrament.

5. You meet your Creator, your friend, your love.

It is good to be a friend and lover of God.  On the day we see Him face-to-face, we will realize that which we have missed throughout our lives.   As Saint Augustine says: “my heart is restless until it rests in You.”  Find your shelter in the wings of the Lord.  Find it, every morning, in His Holy temple. During the day, find it in silent prayer wherever we are.

We will come to yearn for the Lord knowing that our day is incomplete without prayer and worship.  We will find no greater solace than in His Word, in His sacraments, and in surrendering to His love.  In accepting the challenge of meeting Jesus daily in the Eucharist, we will find more joy than ever.

Tips For Making a Good Confession

Tips For Making A Good Confession

1) …pray before going into the confessional, try to recollect and remember our sins;

2)  …examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;

2) …wait our turn in line patiently; be praying and/or reflecting upon the sins we will confess;

3) …come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;

4) …speak distinctly but not so loudly that we might be overheard;

5) …state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;

6) …confess all mortal sins in number and kind;

7) …listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;

8) …confess our own sins and not someone else’s;

9) …carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;

10) …use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;

11) …never be afraid to say something “embarrassing”… just say it;

12) …never worry that the priest will judge us…. he is usually impressed by our courage;

13) …never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret… he is bound by the Seal;

14) …“tendencies” or “struggles” are not sins;  but it can be good to discuss them with the priest

15) …never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;

16) …memorize an Act of Contrition;

17) …answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;

18) …ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;

19) …keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;

20) …remember that priests must go to confession too … so they know what we are going through.


Name Rev. Steve Heina
Email steve.heina
Phone (785) 827-8746